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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I knew that this sport-tourer would be more focused on sport. Of course, that turned out to be true.

While being able to accelerate strongly in 6th gear is impressive, I'd like to calm the engine for trips.

I'm guessing that adding 1 tooth to the counter sprocket (@ transmission) will be about right.

Is there room for a sprocket with another tooth and when can I get it?

Anyone done the math for this reduction? I'll do it myself and post if anyone can tell me how many teeth both sprockets have from the factory.
 

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Going up one tooth on the front sprocket was popular with a lot of early Ninja 1000 owners as the stock gearing is a bit low for this bike. However now the newer models have issues with this due to the advanced electronics, (TC, ABS with the 5 axis IMU). Depending on what year you have it may cause a fault code as the electronics use the front sprocket speed sensor as a data point. On the 2011 ~ 2013 it was not a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was concerned with this - thanks.
Anyone know what else might need to be done?
 

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On my 2020, I went +1 front, -1 rear for this very reason. This dropped the rpms to just below where the vibrations really ramp up. It makes for a much nicer long haul ride.
I had no issues with any of the electronics.
It also did not affect the speedometer because that's taken from the ring on the rear wheel, not at the countershaft.
 

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Bikerguy’s post should be just the encouragement you need to go ahead with the change in gearing ratios. The bike begs for it and then profits from it hugely. I went +1 at the front on my ‘16 bike and that just transformed the riding experience for me. The abrupt engine braking upon decel was largely cured. In the stock bike the 4th and 5th gears were meaningless as you could just stick it in 6th and cruise all day long like a robot. Now each gear has a meaning. Low expense mod with big returns.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
found a repair shop which seems competent. ordered one up and one down. would only have changed the front if not for bbikerguy saying changing both worked well for him. was glad to hear that because i felt that only changing the front would not be enough.

the deep gearing sure makes acceleration fun, tho
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
No need to do the math, unless you just want to. :) Gearing Commander - Motorcycle Speed and Drive Train Calculator v7

Everybody and their uncle sells sprockets. I wanted one with rubber cushion like stock sprockets, so I got a JTF1537.16RB Forgot where I bought it from. Do a google search and pick your favorite seller.
this site is great. i hadn't worked through all this when i visited the repair shop yesterday. the parts guy went to work looking up availability of sprockets. good move to get my business. i'll call him first thing this morning and change the rear to a 39.

will reinstall the stock windshield far a trackday in a couple weeks. MLD #6 August 14/15 2021

thanks guys!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My consulting contract ended, so I didn't get to do that trackday, returning to the east coast instead.
Couldn't find a 39 rear, but the up one, down one (40) worked well on the highway. I wish Kawi hadn't been so cheap and made 6th gear a serious overdrive. I do miss the brutal acceleration of the deep gearing, although my tire budget is happier! thanks for all the help guys!
 

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On my 2020, I went +1 front, -1 rear for this very reason. This dropped the rpms to just below where the vibrations really ramp up. It makes for a much nicer long haul ride.
I had no issues with any of the electronics.
It also did not affect the speedometer because that's taken from the ring on the rear wheel, not at the countershaft.
Very interesting my 21 is stock and it has no vibrations.....
 

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Very interesting my 21 is stock and it has no vibrations.....
That may depend on where you're coming from. I've had I4 engines on nearly all my bikes, the latest being a Concours14 which is verrrry smooth. The n1k vibrates about the same as my zx-10r. It's not much, but it's there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That may depend on where you're coming from. I've had I4 engines on nearly all my bikes, the latest being a Concours14 which is verrrry smooth. The n1k vibrates about the same as my zx-10r. It's not much, but it's there.
exactly! my first road bike was a 76 Gold Wing, then I added a 79 CBX 6 cyl. In comparison, the Ninja vibrates like an out of balance washing machine!
 

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That may depend on where you're coming from. I've had I4 engines on nearly all my bikes, the latest being a Concours14 which is verrrry smooth. The n1k vibrates about the same as my zx-10r. It's not much, but it's there.
"On my 2020, I went +1 front, -1 rear for this very reason. This dropped the rpms to just below where the vibrations really ramp up"
I was responding to this comment...I do not have this on my bike, it was the same issue on an older model i tested and because of it i decided not to buy it. Seems it is still on some of the 20/21 bikes but like i said mine is very smooth. Not as smooth as my 2007 and 2012 ZX14's but acceptable. :)
 

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After years of VFRs, I'm with CBR & Ninja. My '18 is pretty good until ~6k rpm but then it's irritating as heck. On my '11 and '14 I went 1 tooth up on the countershaft sprocket which worked because they started buzzing at ~4.5k rpm. Can't mess with sprockets on the '18 because of the wonderful TC that I don't use but I find it's high enough to allow 85+ mph cruising which gets me by.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I assure you that the TC works just fine with different sprockets.
Now that I've brought the Ninja home, I'm missing that deeper drive ratio. I might restore the stock front or rear sprocket.

Darn cheap Kawasaki for not giving us a big overdrive 6th gear!!
 

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I've been quite happy with 39T rear on my '18. It dropped hwy RPM a few 100's, just enough to keep the buzz from getting really annoying up to 85-90mph. I wouldn't want this as my only bike and I have to ride it on long tours, but it's fine for in-town and short day rides.

I'll be trying +1 up front. I'm not so sure I'd like 16/39, even if the '18's TC tolerates it. It's almost 11% taller overall. My guess is I'll end up with 16/41 (+6.25%), which is just a tad higher than 15/39 (+4.88%) I have now. Larger sprocket will last a bit longer and wheelbase will be 0.5" shorter with the same chain.
 
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